Windows 8 Won't Play DVDs as Standard

Microsoft has recently been dribbling out news of the media functionality of Windows 8, and little has been surprising. But here's something weird: unless you buy the Media Center version of the OS, Windows won't offer any native facility for DVD playback.

Of course, you'll be able to use a piece of free third-party software, like VLC, to watch a DVD. And to make it clear, we are only talking about video DVDs, not data DVDs. But, uh, it still seems like somewhat of a step back in time. So what gives?

The Windows developers justify the decision by explaining DVD use on computers is "in sharp decline", adding that it would have to spend "a significant amount in royalties" to offer support for optical media. Instead, online media is the focus for Windows 8: H.264, VC-1, MP4, AAC, WMA, MP3, those kinds of file types.

So, what seems like an odd decision is just a big money-saver for Microsoft. And it won't really affect end users, who can just download a piece of free software. But that doesn't stop it feeling plain weird. [Microsoft via ZDNET]